From online linking of UAN with Aadhaar to auto transfer of PF accounts, here is a look at EPFO's 6 recent digital initiatives to make your life simpler.
In a bid to bring about ease of compliance and governance as well as to provide better services to both employers and employees, the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has taken various digital initiatives in the past few months, including auto transfer of accounts of an employee on change of employment and making a provision of facility of online correction in name, date of birth and gender of employees. According to an EY tax alert, some of such initiatives introduced by EPFO are as follows:
1) Launch of a new mobile application called UMANG
A new mobile app UMANG (Unified Mobile App for New Age Governance) was launched recently to allow citizens to access government services on a single platform.
Following EPFO services are available under the UMANG app:
# View passbook: Employee can view the transactions (contributions and withdrawals) in the form of passbook for current and previous employers
# Raise claim: Employee can raise claim for Provident Fund withdrawal and Pension benefit
# Track claim: Employee can track the claims submitted through UMANG app
# Get remittance details made by employer using Employer’s EPFO ID
# Get transaction status (TRRN) of Electronic Challan-cum-Return
# Search any establishment (employer) by name and/or Employer’s EPFO ID
# Search EPFO offices
# Know your claim status
2) Provision of facility of online linking of UAN with Aadhaar for individual employees
According to EY, the facility has been made available at EPFO’s website – www.epfindia.gov.in >> Online Services >> e-KYC Portal>> LINK UAN AADHAAR. While using the facility, the employee will have to provide his/her UAN. An OTP will be sent to his/her mobile linked with UAN. After OTP verification, the member will have to provide his/her Aadhaar Number. Another OTP will be sent to his/her mobile/email linked with Aadhaar. After OTP verification, if UAN details are matched with Aadhaar details, then UAN will be linked with Aadhaar. After linking, the employee may avail online EPFO services linked with Aadhaar.
3) Provision of facility of online correction in name, date of birth and gender of employees
Earlier, the employee and the employer were required to give a joint request to the relevant EPFO office for a correction in basic details such as name, date of birth and gender of the employee. As per the new facility, the employee can give an online request at the Member Portal for correction in these basic details. The Member Portal will compare and verify the requested changes with Aadhaar data. After successful verification, the request will be automatically transferred to employer’s Portal for submission to the EPFO office. EPFO on receipt of online request from the employer will verify and process the requested corrections.
4) Direct UAN allotment to any employee at the Member’s portal
Currently, the UAN can be generated by the employer only. Many employers were facing difficulties in UAN generation due to mismatch in Aadhaar data. As per the new facility, any citizen (prospective new employee) can generate his/her UAN on the basis of Aadhaar at the Member Portal. An OTP based authentication process will be applied to fetch Aadhaar data. On the basis of inputs from Aadhaar data, UAN will be generated. The citizen may then submit the generated UAN to the employer.
5) Auto transfer of accounts of an employee on change of employment
A facility has been provided for auto transfer of accounts of an employee on change of employment.
Eligibility criteria for auto transfer:
# Aadhaar and UAN are linked at the previous employer level
# Employee details like date of joining, date of exit and reason of exit is available at the previous employer level
# UAN is activated and linked with active mobile number
# Auto transfer of accounts from previous employer to present employer will be initiated once the first contribution in respect of the new employee is received from the present employer against the UAN
# SMS and email (if registered) will be sent to the employee once the auto transfer is initiated
# The employee can request to stop the auto transfer by Member Portal (Online), by present employer, or by approaching the nearest EPFO office within 10 days of receipt of SMS of informing the employee of auto initiation of transfer request.
6) Provision of functionality of generation of e-Form 9
Under Para 36(1) of the Provident Fund Scheme, every new employer is required to furnish Form 9 within 15 days of registration under the Provident Fund Scheme providing details of employees employed by the employer. On 18 September 2017, EPFO issued a circular to discontinue submission of Form 9 in physical form for all employers being covered on or after 01 October 2017. EPFO has now introduced e-Form 9 available at Employer’s portal for the employers registered on or after 01 October 2017.
Thus, “the intent of the EPFO to be an electronic paperless organization and to do away with the public interface between the Provident Fund office and the employees is manifested in the digitization of services listed above. The introduction of these digital services by the EPFO is a welcome move and yet another step in providing employer-employee friendly services,” says the EY tax alert.